It was drizzling. I hurriedly walk down the street leading to my father’s house. I was about to cross the street when I bumped into a guy. I muffled an apology as I looked at him. I was surprised to see my former schoolmate, Seth. The last time I saw him was before he graduated from our Alma Mater. We did the catch-up bit for awhile before I told him that I needed to go home. I took a few steps away from him when I asked him if he wanted to come with me to my father’s birthday. He politely declined and promised to keep in touch.
As I turned around the corner, I kept thinking about the old days. Seth is four years my senior and one of the coolest guy in campus. He used to be my brother’s closest bud. He was everything I thought an older brother ought to be. And, when they had a falling out, I resented my brother for it, though; I never really knew what happened between them.
The rain began to pour heavily. Fortunately, I was a few steps from the gate of my father’s house. I ran inside the house. I looked at the receiving area and no one was there. I headed to the backyard and saw my brothers with their girlfriends and some of our family friends happily chatting away and eating. My youngest brother acknowledged my presence by saying my name aloud and everyone looked my way. I nodded and smiled. I walked towards my brother and asked where our father was. He told me that our father was in the living room. I was confused. I told him that I was in the reception area not a minute ago and no one was there.
My older brother joined our conversation wanting to know what was going on. I told him that I was looking for our father and couldn’t find him. He told me the same thing that our youngest sibling had told me. Sceptical, I backtracked to the living room with my two brothers to prove to them that our father wasn’t there. When we reached the living room, there was our father sitting comfortably on the sofa talking to a guy. I had no idea who the guy was for he had his back at me.
I stopped on my track. How could I possibly missed my father? He was a six-footer man. As I stood there stunned, my eldest brother whispered something to me that I couldn’t understand. I entered the room and greeted my father. The person, my father was talking to, looked my way. I was speechless. It was Seth. He just smiled at me.
I asked Seth what he was doing here, but my father interrupted and told me that he had invited Seth. I asked my father how he knew where to contact Seth. However, my father changed the subject and asked if I had eaten. I told him that I hadn’t and wasn’t that hungry yet. As I sat beside my father, I couldn’t help but stare at Seth. He looked like Seth but something was different. He was wearing a different outfit than what I’ve seen him earlier. There were many questions that were roaming in my head, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask Seth.
I returned my gaze to my father. I asked him how he was doing. He told me that he was doing a lot better. I studied his eyes and he was actually saying the truth. I was worried because he had been in and out of the hospital for a couple months. Two weeks ago, when I last saw him, he couldn’t even get out of his bed and hold any of his food down. And because of that, his once sturdy physique became frail. Now, as I was sitting next to him, he looked great as if there were no traces of his failing health.
My father hugged me tightly. He whispered to my ear not to worry too much for he was doing much better. I couldn’t understand why the tears from my eyes began to flow freely. He reassured me that he was doing better and not to cry. When he broke our embrace, my father wiped the tears from my cheeks and kissed me on the forehead. After that, he told my brothers and me that he was going for a walk. I protested that he couldn’t for it was raining outside. My dad told me that the rain had stopped. My brothers offered to accompany him, but our dad refused. Instead, he requested Seth to accompany him.
Seth stood up and I looked at him. He returned my gaze and smiled. It was odd. The way he looked at me, somehow flooded my entire being with feelings of melancholy and peace at the same time. I broke my eye contact with Seth when my father stood up. I was amazed that he could stand on his own without his cane or anyone helping him. As my dad and Seth left the living room, passed my two brothers and into the hallway, everything seemed to stop. Both my brothers stood there frozen and complete silences fell onto the room but Seth and my father continued to move towards the door.
I ran after them and told them to wait for me. They stopped. Seth spoke and told me that I couldn’t go with them for it wasn’t my time yet. I asked him time for what? Silence. I asked him who he really was. He told me that he was Minukawa. After saying that, he and my father stepped outside the door and slowly faded away.
I felt a hand touched my shoulder. I turned around and my youngest brother hugged me. He was crying. I looked at the sofa and saw my eldest brother embracing my father’s lifeless body.
Minukawa by S. Paguia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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